I love the concept of brunch. You don’t have to get up too early, it’s a great meal for conversation, you get to enjoy savory and sweet treats and oh yes, mimosas. Brunch is basically brilliant.
My love for Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, knows no bounds, and last week for Easter, I made her Challah French Toast Recipe. Challah bread is thick and perfect for soaking up the vanilla and honey batte, and toasts to perfection with a crispy outside and melt in your moth middle. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and drizzle of syrup for a fabulous brunch.
Now that we’re out of January, I feel like we’ve turned a corner weather wise. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I’m convinced warm spring days are not too far away. (Mind you, I live in Seattle so yes, this is very wishful thinking).
One of my favorite things about Seattle is the thriving food truck culture. You can get any type of cuisine you desire made with love, fresh ingredients and culinary sophistication befitting a top restaurant. It’s a passionate, tight nit culture, with incredible creativity. Plus ,there is just something fun about walking outside to enjoy authentic Indonesian cuisine one day then southern style soul food the next.
Contigo’s Modern Mexican serves crave worthy tacos and gorditas, and it’s a must visit for me year round. Their food is actually all gluten free, the chicken mole is to die for with a sweet smokiness and the short rib tacos are mouth watering. The best part… the habanero lemonade that starts out sweet, then quickly sends a fire up from the back of your throat. It’s both surprising and addictive. If you are ever in the Seattle area I highly recommend paying Contigo a visit… it’s a great spot for a delicious healthy lunch.
For years my husband has been searching for a healthy lunch that actually tastes good. With some inspiration from the Evolution Fresh simmer bowls, we finally came up with something he loves. Not only is this bowl low in calories, healthy and filled with lean protein, fiber and tons of veggies, but you can also make all of the ingredients ahead of time and simply assemble everything in the morning.
I always make quinoa with chicken stock to give it more flavor. Then, thanks to my friend’s recipe suggestion, I roasted broccoli, parsnips, butternut squash and carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper and a bit of rosemary. I added slices of roasted chicken then poured hot vegetable broth over the top sprinkled a few gorgonzola crumbles for taste. This is definitely one of out go to healthy meals for lunch or dinner!
Sometimes I think I hit the gym just to justify my love of food..especially dessert. When it comes to my diet, I like to practice moderation, so while I make sure I get plenty of lean protein and veggies, I also have to have dessert! And chocolate ice cream is one of my favorites.
A few years ago I bought an ice cream maker sort of on a whim, and it collected dust in my kitchen. But then for some reason (probably an episode of the Barefoot Contessa), this summer I was all about making homemade ice cream. I think if you’re going to eat dessert, really go for it. Get the richest and most flavorful ingredients and make something really special and delicious, then just have a smaller portion. This chocolate ice cream from Williams Sonoma is my new obsession. It’s rich, intoxicatingly chocolatey and has a smooth, creamy texture. Definitely worth a try!
An ice cream maker is actually a really fun thing to have and the one I have is on sale here. The recipes are pretty easy to make and you make it your own by adding in different things like fruit, candy, nuts…really anything you can imagine!
This recipe has really simple ingredients just eggs, cream and chocolate and sugar.
Simply heat and mix milk and cream together.
Find the best quality chocolate you can…it really makes a difference!
Chill the mixture in the fridge, I like to chill it overnight to get the best texture.
Happy Fourth of July! There is a running joke in Seattle that summer doesn’t start until the 5th of July, but this year (after a pretty gloomy June) we actually have a gorgeous day fot the 4th. Seattle summers are some of the most beautiful you’ll find anywhere with sunny skies, low humidity an spectacular views of the water and the mountains. So in honor of the fabulous weather my husband and I are hitting the grill, making some festive drinks and I’m making my favorite blueberry pie. I love substituting healthy menu item where I can so I’m making lean burgers, french potato salad, light watermelon margheritas today. However, there will be no scrimping on the blueberry pie! It’s a holiday after all, and come on, it counts as fruit:)
The burger and margherita recipes and photos are from Cooking Light. The Cooking Light website also has a great feature on 100 calorie burger topping you can check out here. I’m totally obsessed with the Barefoot Contessa’s French potato salad since it uses lots of fresh herbs and healthy fat like olive oil instead of mayonnaise. Not only is it delicious, it’s also lower in calories than regular potato salad. I use Martha Stewart’s pie crust recipe and Williams Sonoma‘s filling recipe (pie photo is from Williams Sonoma).
If you want to work off all those 4th of July treats, then try the sort of festively named 4×4 workout. Get the printable version here.
Happy 4th of July!